50 may be getting sensitive to the criticism that he's not coming out hard any more, because this leak from "Before I Self Destruct" is one of the heaviest tracks he's done since Dr. Dre took him from mixtape bling to hip-hop king. The name Team Demo doesn't ring any bells, but their beat certainly will - it's a malodorous melody made up of massive bass, heavy piano keys, and a sinister drum track that eats pop music for breakfast and shits out bullets for lunch. "'tack time is crank time, I flip that, get that back/Louie V. napsack filled up with G-stacks/I'm sick in the head, me I'm all 'bout the bread/Go 'head fuck with the kid, see it's just what I said." Whether the rest of BISD can live up to this standard is uncertain but he's certainly off to a good start.
You read that correctly. RapReviews is going to curate an actual living, breathing ALBUM. Who are the artists that will be featured on it? Well, YOU, of course… This really is history in the making!
So let's start from scratch. I had the idea six months ago on a crazy night when I couldn't sleep til 9am the next morning. We have such talented artists that get reviewed, not to mention a huge readership that are artists/producers themselves, struggling for a break. For example, I voted Grip Grand's "Brokelore" album of the year in 2008 – yet 99% of you would never of heard of him. If he were to put a track on our album, it would be exposed to a huge potential audience, one that he richly deserves. That in turn would build interest for his own catalogue. Or if you are an up and coming MC without a deal, but you have a few fantastic tracks that you want to get out into the community, this could be your ideal starting point.
The main thing to realise here is that RR will attempt to curate a real album, not a mixtape. In other words, as Executive Producer, it is my duty to help choose (with the RR staff) and sequence a well-balanced wonder album with brilliant lyrics, banging beats and a variety of topics/themes. That means, for example: that head nod boom bap shit; socially conscious records; club bangers; incredible concepts; heart-wrenching emotional shit; lyrical genius… All kinds of tracks, as we are all multi-faceted actual people.
What are the rules of eligibility? Well, the artist sends us the track. That could be any artist, at any level, ANYWHERE in the world. So whether you're from the US or UK, Jamaica or Japan, South America or South Africa, you are eligible. Whether you are completely unsigned, on a small label, on your OWN label, or on a major, you are eligible. Group? Solo? Doesn't matter – you are eligible.
However, your song, on the other hand, faces stricter regulations. Get this straight, it must be COMPLETELY devoid and free of ANY samples. NO SAMPLES. So your lyrics must be original. Your chorus must be original. Your instrumental must be 100% original. Why? Well, the reasons are twofold. Firstly, it is much easier to put together an album which has completely original music, from a legal standpoint in particular. Second of all, trust in your own ability to CREATE beautiful music, not just sample some other musician. There is a lot to be said about crafting your own 100% original beats.
How about the selection process? Well, you send us your track – NOT your whole album, only your absolute best SONG – via email and we root through them all, separating the average from the good, the good from the great. After the cut off point, we whittle them down to a manageable list. Finally, the RR staff will debate over who they think should get on the album. But understand this now, it had better be fantastic. If you think your shit is "pretty good" don't hit and hope. Only the strongest will survive!
So put your money where your mouth is. Send in your absolute best track, or go and create one from scratch right now. You never know, you could make it onto the RapReviews Album and it could be the start of something big. The song itself should be mixed, mastered and ready to go straight onto the album – however, we are willing to consider very special circumstances, like if you are a ridiculously talented kid with NO money. Otherwise, you should be ready to roll (though we may request the original WAV files if we feel it needs remastering).
Regardless of anything else, the aim here is to create a great album for people to really LISTEN to on repeat. Not a mixtape, not a compilation… an album – one that, if dropped through our letterbox would receive at least a 9 out of 10. Don't get it twisted – this is first and foremost an ARTISTIC move, not a commercial one – you can't bribe us, no payolas, free gifts are futile... We all bitch about the greed of major labels and focus group-driven music-by-numbers – to that end, we will initially be making it available as a FREE download.
The cut-off date for sending in tracks is simple – you have until the end of this decade. In other words, the 31st December 2009, and as soon as that clock strikes midnight, the sending in phase is over, and the selection process begins. You will all, of course, be in the know as the process switches stages, with regular updates on the progress. So spread the word... "RapReviews: The Album" is real, and it will be coming out in 2010. Get busy.
Hip-Hop Shop 55 features our interview with Wordsmith! The self-professed Microphone Bully has a new album coming out November 17th with Chubb Rock called "Bridging the Gap," and we break that down as well as his lessons for making it in the hip-hop game. To heed the word of the t'cha, follow him on Twitter and check out his YouTube as well. We've also got new tracks from Trinity, Dynas and Mac Lethal among others! If you would like to sponsor Hip-Hop Shop please send an e-mail to email@example.com for more information. Hip-Hop Shop features podsafe music, so distribute the show and tell your friends to check us out every week at RapReviews.com!
* Wordsmith - Season of the MC * The Good People - About You * Dynas f/ Slick Rick - Family Jewels * Trinity - Roc Raida Tribute * Geddy b/k/a Armageddon - It's Over * Mac Lethal f/ Aesop Rock, Soulcrate - Woodchip Grinder * Odin Smith - Judo Throws * Dan-e-o f/ Ian Kamau - Legacy
"Sometimes you have to be grateful for the things you already have." With Kam Moye's new video for "Let's Be Honest," the North Carolina emcee continues to display his down to earth sensibilities, and now finds himself fleshing out those sentiments with a strong set of visuals. The scenes are filled with Kam rhyming on a park bench and window-shopping with his girl, a refreshing contrast to the decadent hip-hop videos that have grown to be so common. The video is directed by Matt Koza of HOJ Media, who is known for his recent work with Foreign Exchange, Big Pooh, Cymarshall Law, and more. Kam and MYX Music Label have enlisted Koza for a 3-video package deal, which will also include videos for "Splitting Image" and one other video off of the new album. Kam states, "I've worked with a few video directors in the past and I've had great experiences, but very few had the same quality as Koza's videos. Instead of experimenting with different directors, I wanted to use one director to help tell my story for the album." Kam Moye's new album, Splitting Image, is currently available everywhere via MYX Music Label.
Kam Moye recorded two critically acclaimed albums and three EPs under the name of Supastition for labels Soulspazm Records and Rawkus Records. As Supastition, Kam has appeared on songs alongside well-respected artists such as KRS One, Little Brother, Royce the 5'9, Stoupe (Jedi Mind Tricks), Rhymefest, Elzhi, Bahamadia, Cunninlynguists, Akrobatik, and many others. In 2008, he chose to officially begin releasing music under his given name of Kam Moye instead of his rap alias. Kam released a free EP, Self-Centered, in June 2008, which received over 4000 downloads in less than 24 hours. His outspoken music video, "Black Enough?", garnered serious attention shortly after its release. His first full-length under the name Kam Moye, Splitting Image, is out now via MYX Music Label.
Trail-blazing the collaboration between Dubstep and Hip-Hop, with stomach-pounding, bass-thumping beats, and gritty and grimy lyrics, this Double Disc with a deluxe 12-page booklet is going to be a true collector's item. Up & comers and A-list Dubstep producers alike contribute the musical underpinning for a goldmine of Wu-Tang verses from the vaults that feature Raekwon, Ghostface Killa, RZA, GZA, Method Man, U-God & Masta Killa, Wu affiliates Killah Priest, Bronze Nazareth, Prodigal Sunn, Solomon Childs & more, and guest spots from Busta Rhymes, MF Doom, Pimp C, Three 6 Mafia & many more. This one of a kind compilation is at the forefront of an emerging cultural and musical blend that is taking place on the margins of the mainstream, but will be talked about for years to come.
Check out the sleek 2-CD design and the deluxe booklet, that features a history of the Dubstep movement, along with biographies chronicling all the producers who participated in the project. This album is truly setting the tone for the future of independent and underground music movements, in both the hip-hop and electronic worlds.
Fresh off of signing his deal with Universal Republic, Black Dada, originally from Broward County, talks candidly about his home country of Haiti and performs his smash single "I'm A Zoe" in Tampa, FL for Wild 94.1's "Last Damn Show 11"
He also talks about the grind and gives advice for those that come from another country and make it the American Dream in the United States
"I'm A Zoe (Remix)" featuring Rick Ross & Birdman is currently impacting airwaves
"Bekay's name is far from a coincidence - when you say "Bekay" you say "BK" a/k/a Brookyn. This rising star of underground hip-hop has been repping his home to the fullest ever since he first stormed on the scene in December 2004 with "Where Brooklyn At?" featuring the late great Ol' Dirty Bastard. At the time I could be counted among the skeptics who thought Bekay was simply riding the coattails of a fellow Brooklynite without really being established in his own right, but in the five years that have followed Bekay's worked extra hard to prove he's his own man."
"It's not easy to say whether or not Admiral Crumple is headed for the red carpet or if he'll be the one sweeping it up after hip-hop's glitterati walk by. Does the Toronto based rapper have a cult following? It seems he does, though it's hard to determine the size. He's done at least one song with Cage, and thematically the only rapper he could compare to other than him is Necro. Crumple is not nearly as obsessed with raping corpses as the latter, but his self-produced beats aren't anywhere near as dope, so perhaps it's not such a good tradeoff."
Applejaxx :: Back 2 the Future :: Fadacy Music as reviewed by Patrick Taylor
"Applejaxx is a Boston-based rapper who released his debut album "Back 2 the Future." This showed up in my inbox, courtesy of his label. Normally I'd pass on Christian club rap, being a fan of neither Christian or club music, but there was something in what Applejaxx was doing that made me want to spend some time with it. First of all, there are the beats, supplied by T. Bizzy, Gregory "DreamChord" Thomas, and Luke Witherspoon III. As the title suggests, the emphasis is on futuristic beats, and the producers deliver. As with the Black Eyed Peas' last album, many of the beats on "Back 2 the Future" are inspired by dance music."
"The only thing truly definable about God-Des and She are that they are a lesbian musical duo. In terms of their music, they blur conventions in ways that make them difficult to accurately categorize. While stores will place the album "Three" in the Rap/Hip-Hop section, the music on the disc hints at Dance, Electronica and Pop as well. God-Des and She gained recognition based on their addition to the soundtrack of the Showtime show "L Word." The single "Lick It" from last year's "Stand Up" LP particularly propelled their popularity. The track is a sexual anthem in the same vein as Khia's "My Neck, My Back." The song strays from my personal taste, but has proven appealing to many."
"Continuing in our trend of offering exposure to the underexposed and often dope Australian hip-hop scene, please welcome Horrorshow to the main stage. They arrive a few days late for Halloween, but despite the name there's nothing horrifying about the combo of Adit on beats and Solo on rhymes. Let's start with the former. On only the second full length Horrorshow album to arrive in stores on either side of the Pacific, Adit shows himself to be a very adept producer, which could be (but probably isn't) the pun where his name comes from. "
Phillip Morris :: The Process of Addiction Has Its Costs :: Second Hand Music as reviewed by Eric Sirota
"The corporate-bashing, ironically-named, nerdcore Chicago producer/MC, Phillip Morris, is not beyond comparison, but the comparisons will not be helpful to those lacking an unhealthy obsession with hip-hop. He's a black Tim Fite, a good-natured Quasimoto, Vordul Mega with a sense of humor, Paul Barman with flow, etc., etc. These points of reference are not useful. They only became meaningful to me since I started prizing rap hipsterdom over social interaction, but, hey, if masturbating while listening to Digable Planets b-sides is wrong, then I don't want to be right. Say what you will, it hasn't been that long since I got laid. The point is, Phillip Morris's latest release, "The Process of Addiction has Its Costs," is fucking brilliant."
Sir Mix-A-Lot :: Swass :: NastyMix/American Recordings ** RapReviews "Back to the Lab" series ** as reviewed by Emanuel Wallace
"Before being crowned rap's quintessential ass man and labeled a one-hit wonder, the rapper, born Anthony Ray, had a handful of tunes that received their fair amount of play in the streets. Songs like "My Hooptie" and "Beepers" from the "Seminar" album come to mind. However, before that, Mix-A-Lot and his posse were "Swass" and wanted everyone to know it. When I was younger, I thought that "Swass" was an acronym for something, but as I grew older, I realized it was just another word to describe something sweet, fly, dope, and so forth."
"There's no shortage of work to be found on "Antenna" either, and no shortage of moods or styles either. In a way listening to "Antenna" reminds me of a Dilla beat tape, and that's meant as the high praise it sounds like. The chief difference between the two would be that while Dilla's beat example could often be under a minute in length, these play out like full songs sans rappers, even featuring breaks between wordless verses for a hook, which in cases like "Producer's Prayer" consists solely of samples. While titles can sometimes be meaningless on instrumental albums, that's not true for Odin, where each one implies a sound or style you'll be hearing."
South Circle :: Anotha Day Anotha Balla :: Suave House/Relativity ** RapReviews "Back to the Lab" series ** as reviewed by Matt Jost
"One Southern duo that came into existence before Field Mob, Playaz Circle, Youngbloodz, Ying Yang Twins, Dirty, Paul Wall & Chamillionaire, Little Brother, etc. was South Circle, consisting of Mr. Mike and Thorough. They were part of the Suave House foray in the mid-'90s, following in the footsteps of the label's trailblazers, Eightball & MJG. "Anotha Day Anotha Balla" is vintage Southern rap that doesn't necessarily fit current preconceptions about the region. Combining rap's cutthroat rhetoric with the aggressive attitude of the streets, South Circle's music often has the same dark undertones that you'll also find on '90s releases by Geto Boys, Three 6 Mafia or Eightball & MJG."
In celebration of the upcoming Slick Rick/Scarface/Goodie Mob reunion show (at B.B Kings on Friday Nov. 13th), The Audible Doctor & B.B. Kings have teamed up to bring you "The Hunt to Find 2009". We will be giving 10 free pairs of tickets away to the winners! THE HUNT STARTS TODAY!!
DETAILS: There are 3 items related to each of the 3 artists performing on the 13th. The items are hidden at 3 different locations around NYC. Your job is to figure out what the items are and be one of the first 10 people to bring your list of the 3 items to Fat Beats NY to receive your free pair of tickets.
The 3 Locations Are: Blades 659 Broadway (Bleeker & 3rd St) New York , NY 10012
Stussy 176 Spring St (Broadway & Thompson) and Burkina New York, NY 10012
Burkina 177 E Houston (Allen & Orchard) New York, NY 10002
Dont forget you must bring your list to:
Fat Beats NY 406 6th Ave, 2nd Floor (8th & 9th street) New York, NY 10011
Tonight we'll be doing a Hip-Hop Shop interview w/ Wordsmith the Microphone BULLY live at 9 PM EST at blogtalkradio.com/angrymarks to discuss his new album "Bridging the Gap" with Chubb Rock that drops on November 10th. Please be sure to join us at blogtalkradio.com/angrymarks at 9 PM EST, 8 Central but if you miss the live show the replay will be available on RapReviews this Tuesday. Immediately afterwards at 10 PM EST, 9 Central go to angrymarks.com/chat to hear K4D starring hip-hop producer The Cancer a/k/a Ric Atari and his friends mrob & Hollywood Shaun. Enjoy the shows!
Last year i was fortunate enough to be involved (via the homie Random) in a pretty dope remix project featuring Jay-Z's "American Gangster" album. The concept was simple, flip Jigga's acapellas to new, video-game sampled beats! The project contains 10 tracks which sample everything from Resident Evil to Final Fantasy to Castelvania! Feel free to go ahead and download the whole thing HERE! For preview sake, peep my personal favorite of the 3 remixes i did below, and see if you can figure out what classic game i used for it...